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Experts have warned for years that cases of gonorrhea and syphilis are surging. While STD’s had initially declined during first months of the pandemic, they resurged by the end of 2020.

The bulk of diagnostic testing shifted away from STD’s to focus exclusively on Covid. With fewer testing resources, more people went undetected, potentially spreading infection to sexual partners. Total cases of sexually transmitted diseases have now hit 2.5 million, a 30-year high.

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Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlights the issue around cities across the country.

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Surely, Indianapolis does not have a problem with STD’s?

Memphis, Tennessee, comes out as America’s STD capital where around one in 70 people are infected.

There were several notable shifts for the better and worse in the rankings. Norfolk, Virginia (1,069 per 100,000), which was at 29, has moved up to number 10.

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Here are the top 5 cities with high cases of STD’s:

  1. Memphis, TN: 1,460 STDs per 100,000
  2. Jackson, MS: 1,358 STDs per 100,000
  3. Columbia, SC: 1,350 STDs per 100,000
  4. Baltimore, MD: 1,327 STDs per 100,000
  5. Philadelphia, PA: 1,200 STDs per 100,000

Indianapolis does rank on the list. At number 20 in the nation, the circle city is averaging 950 STD cases per 100,000.

When we break it down to specific infections, Indianapolis stacks up like this:

STD cases per 100k


HIV cases


Chlamydia cases


Gonorrhea cases


Syphilis cases


Indiana has an especially high rate of chlamydia, ranking 20th in the country according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Additionally, the state is ranked 35th for primary and secondary syphilis, 43rd for congenital syphilis, and 21st for gonorrhea.

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Where can I go to get tested?

If you’re concerned about visiting your regular doctor or can’t afford the cost of private testing, a community testing center may be able to help. While community testing centers may charge a fee for STD testing, it’s common to find free or low-cost testing from these resources: